By Jordan Kendall, Assistant Sports Editor
As the NCAA Tournament gets under way, it’s the time of the year for Cinderella teams. The NFL rarely has these types of teams who shock the world, but there are a few teams who can do so this season.
It’s hard to win in the NFL, and few teams have been able to win consistently over time. With a few teams who appear to be up and coming, it’s very possible we could see a team come out of nowhere this season.
One of these teams is the Arizona Cardinals. With a young quarterback and head coach, we could see the next Los Angeles Rams much sooner than expected.
As of now, quarterback Josh Rosen is the future of the organization. Rumors have spread that the Cardinals will take Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury has expressed interest in drafting Murray if he was given the. and now he has that chance.
Regardless of who the first overall pick may be, it’s realistic to believe he will be in Arizona for the next 10-15 years. Since Rosen is projected to start week one, I will focus on him.
Rosen reminds me of Rams signal caller Jared Goff in many ways. Both were thrust into the starting job way too early and struggled as a rookie. Both entered year two with a young quarterback guru who was a head coach for the first time.
Head Coach Sean McVay groomed Goff into the franchise quarterback the Rams traded up for in 2016. In two years, this duo has two playoff appearances, two division titles and are coming off of an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Rams fans were calling Goff a bust his rookie year, but now believe the future is bright. I don’t see why Rosen can’t do the same, he was a first-round pick for a reason.
Arizona has a young quarterback and some young talent surrounding him.
Running back David Johnson has shown flashes of superstardom, rushing for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2016. After an injury filled 2017, he followed it with 940 yards and seven scores in 2018 with an inconsistent offensive line around him. He appears to have regained his old form, and having a reliable back could allow the Cardinals to progress faster than expected. Wide receiver Christian Kirk showed flashes last season with 590 yards in 12 games.
Returning healthy for year two, along with the mentorship of veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, could provide Kirk the opportunity to be Arizona’s next great receiver.
Defensive end Chandler Jones and newly acquired defensive end Terrell Suggs look to be a top pass rush duo for the next few years. Arizona has some young talent on defense as well in defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and defensive back D.J. Swearinger. The team still has one of the top cornerbacks in the league in Patrick Peterson.
If the Cardinals can draft well, having so much young talent could allow them to make some noise in 2019.
The Cardinals have a long way to go if they want to be a Super Bowl contender. This organization has more questions than answers, but the future looks bright.
You never know what could happen year to year, but Arizona could always become a Cinderella in 2019.